A special post for all QQ fans everywhere

Tulips, to make up for the cruel return of winter.

QQ is almost 100% back to her comfort zone after healing from her second surgery. As she does following surgeries and recoveries, she has leaped into overdrive once regaining her strength. She's growing like a weed again, eating like a horse, and in the past three days she has suddenly begun to sign like a pro. She still signs "more" whenever she particularly wants something, and "duck" whenever we get near the lake. She has, out of the blue, added "all done", "fish" (particularly in relation to the DVD of Finding Nemo, which has recently supplanted Yo Gabba Gabba as her favorite), "drink" for juice, and "daddy"...which is a huge breakthrough for us, since she can and does use the word "mommy" but can't handle "daddy" verbally yet. The other night, she even attempted to sign "I love you" back to me at bedtime...which of course left me in a little puddle of joy on the floor. She has also, much to our relief, begun to give out actual kisses again - something that is curtailed, for a time, following each surgery.
In her sled that LaoLao got her, quite possibly before she was even born. I think this was the first gift we ever received for the Q.

Sporting Mommy's scarf - and doing a few stunts on her sled.
Wait, is that mommy's office in there?
I recognize what I see through this window!

Getting jaunty with her scarf.
She has a way with her personal style.

Getting into the drama of it all.
Something missing in this outfit...what could it be?
I know! My superhero helmet.
Something up my sleeve.
Hah! Didn't expect that, did you?
It's me!!!! QQ!!
Do I get a standing ovation? Or at least a smattering of applause?
Maybe you need to see it again...
OK, one more time. Though it's hard to see from under this thing.
Gonna have to take it off before I navigate this step...safety first!


Just for pretty

Me and QQ in our Etsy dresses...mine from larimeloom in Italy, hers from bellabythesea.

The bloom that was

Well, you saw the pictures of our blizzard. Here are the photos of what our fair city looked like before those two feet of snow fell.
Our white bloom is the early bloom, and most years these trees are snowed out almost immediately - within 24 hours of first blossoming. This year we got almost a week of white bloom before the blizzard hit - an embarrassment of riches!
Fortunately, I grabbed the opportunity and took about a zillion pictures while I had the chance.
I have to admit, I'm not sure whether the pink bloom has been destroyed as well in this resurgance of winter (after melting off, it snowed again last night, and may tomorrow). We generally do get quite a few storms in March, but typically they are warm, heavy wet snows that melt almost immediately. This year's March blizzard came late, and was particularly harsh. The white blossoms were turned to crumpled little wads of parchment yellow on their branches, while those few pink that bloomed already were burned black with the deep freeze. Daffodils and tulips that had begun to bloom were crumpled and singed under the heavy blanket of snow, which lasted almost two days before it began to melt. So it will be interesting to see what makes a comeback, and what doesn't. I really hope for that pink bloom of Denver's prolific crabapples in a week or so...I look forward to it every year, and would miss it terribly if it didn't happen.


Contemplating breakfast

Just to show that we are actually following through, with almost ritualistic fervor, on our new commitment to sit-down meals. QQ's breakfast (and mine) on this day featured buttered toast soldiers (a really good and light sesame peasant loaf that M. brought home), a medley of half-frozen tropical fruit niblets (mango, pineapple, papaya, strawberry), walnut-cinnamon coffee cake, and a couple of tiny niblets of bitter chocolate (which she insists on...this is my comeuppance in life! Oh, the humanity.)
While this may sound like a tempting breakfast (it did to me!) QQ was not entirely convinced.
As you can see by the telltale smudge on her chin, she did chow down on the dark chocolate, though she only consented to lick the fruit, coffee cake and buttered toast. Sigh.
I also allowed her to have her morning fresh-pressed apple juice, which she did indulge in. Meanwhile, I consumed all three slices of coffee cake that you see on my plate. Seems like this new ritual may add a few pounds to me, even if it doesn't do much for QQ.
btw, the Kombucha? M. thinks it's filthy. He calles it "festering" and wouldn't touch it with a ten-foot pole. Mommy, on the other hand, could easily go through three bottles a day.
Since she sees it every morning, QQ now asks for the green Kombucha every time she sees the bottle. I don't let her have it, but it's a good demonstration of the power of peer pressure.
The tulips were to compensate for all the beautiful white flowers that were destroyed by our recent snowstorm. Plus, they were on sale at S@feway, and unusually affordable. And they really add to the ambiance of our new breakfast ritual, don't you think ?
I love her bedhead. Actually, I just love her...as I tell her on a regular basis.
Even if she just looks at my elaborately-conceived breakfast with a gimlet stare. We recently tried to figure out how many times a day, on average, we tell her that we love her. I think it's roughly five times an hour for those hours that she is actually awake. I think she's awake about 8 hours each day, so that makes forty times for each parent, so 80 times total, on average, per day.
That's a lot of love.

Party day

We had a lovely Saturday yesterday which began with us bundling up (March definitely has been going out like a lion this year) and heading to our favorite neighborhood resale store (My Crib on 44th) to find some birthday delights for Q's buddy Esme.
It's a terrific store and I always find treasures there. This weekend, they were particularly well-stocked. I let QQ approve my toy choices for Esme (I also got her the last of the monkey suits like the one Q has, since she has gotten so much milage out of hers!) But when she saw this xylophone, her eyes instantly lit up.
Q just gravitates toward anything musical, and I knew this one was going to have to come home with us. I could barely tear her away from it in time to head to Esme's party.
Once there, however, she was glad she'd come. Es (or The Edge, as they call her) has quite the playroom.

And quite the set of friends and family.

Q enjoys sitting in grownup chairs these days, but if you put her in a highchair, she will ask to be buckled in. She's unsafe at any speed, and at least she's aware of that fact.
Edge's dad was sporting quit the headgear...but QQ quickly convinced him to take it off. Counts as a disguise, in her book.
Jen and Jae, who made us those wonderful interactive maps for our trip to San Francisco, happened to be in town for the weekend.
I like Esme's puppet tree...a brilliant idea.

Playing trains with Jen.
The birthday girl.
QQ loves balls - any ball pertaining to any sport will do.

Look at our girl, almost up to Esme in height, and five months her junior! When she came home, she wasn't even in Edge's ballpark. She's a beansprout, our Q.

Playing ball with Esme's cousin Udo. It was their first (belated) meeting, and they got along great.

Playing at Edge's awesome wooden kitchen.
Face time with Jae.
This is my favorite picture of Esme. You know what I love about her? She refers to herself as "Edgy". When she wants to be picked up, she says "Edgy!" and pats her chest with both hands.

QQ likes to share. She reeeeeeally likes to share. Sometime she rather forces her sharing on people who might actually prefer to be doing something else.
She also insists that everything she shares be "shared" back and forth, preferably a few times. I think it's her way of getting to know people. I love that she loves to share. I recognize that it's a phase, and that there's likely to be a possessive phase coming along sometime soon...but I'm happy that her "sharing" phase has lasted so long!

The newest addition to the group. So tiny! We never had Q when she was this small, so it always amazes me.
This is a great play table. I probably need to find Q one of these. You can't see it, but Q is wearing a Beatles shirt under her dress...cause that's how she rolls!

She's into baskets as well as bags, and likes to sling them over an arm and parade around. Do you love her little red Cons? Like Daddy, like Q.
Esme already knows how to drink from a cup without spilling, which impresses me no end. I need to work on that one.
Jena's piggie cake.
Getting excited for her birthday song!

QQ did not want cake. She does not have a sweet tooth (outside of eating her mom's dark chocolate, which is sadly just plain imitation, and maybe an icecream bar once a month or so). She stated quite unequivocally that she did NOT want any cake or icing. She did, however, demand two plates. And this is what she had in mind to do with them.
Don't ask me, I have no idea. Probably just going for applause. I'm just glad she didn't have cake on them.
Serving the kiddos.
Jena and her beautiful mother.
I think the cake was a hit.
Jena is hidden behind the lens almost as often as I am...which is saying something.
QQ discovered the gifts, and wanted to open some of them. Badly.

Hanging out with Gina.

Jae and Jen.
Beautiful light.

QQ likes to play with other kids, even when those kids don't necessarily want to play with her. She's very difficult to discourage. She really can't imagine that anyone wouldn't want to be graced with her presence. Like I said, very self-confident kid.

Viewmasters are really timeless, aren't they? Who doesn't love a viewmaster.

QQ trying to communicate what she needs this friend to do for her. Look how intent she is. "Look into my eyes, and watch closely - I'm sure you can see what I'm trying to tell you."

Karen sharing the couch with a brood of very content kiddies.
I think Udo had had a bit too much punch at this stage.

The colors...the colors! Much as I used to dislike the color pink, I've had to conceed that QQ is a pink-and-red girl. Pink and red together are her best colors, no doubt about it.

It was a good, long, and fun-filled evening, and QQ was so tired by the time we piled in the car that she didn't know what to do with herself.